To Your Health
November, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 11)
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A New Day in Health

By Editorial Staff

Dancing can be a fun, high-energy way to stay in shape. Daily practices, workouts and performances push professional dancers to new levels of fitness. Find out what a healthy lifestyle means to accomplished dancer Tina Cannon, who stars in Celine Dion's "A New Day" in Las Vegas.

For most people, the thought of getting out on the dance floor evokes either great excitement or intense fear. Whether you're a wallflower or a fanatic, dance is making its way to the forefront of mainstream media. Season after season, reality shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance" pop up, introducing all varieties of dance to the public.

As any dance enthusiast will attest, dancing can transform your life. The combination of music and movement can renew a tired soul, release hidden creativity, trigger old memories and turn sadness into joy, even if for only a few minutes. Dancing is all about the mind-body connection, and it can be a fun and fulfilling way to stay in shape. A half hour of sustained dancing can burn between 200 and 400 calories. Dancing also boosts brain power and memory skills by requiring you to remember dance steps and sequences. The multi-directional, weight-bearing movements of dance can improve joint mobility, bone density, balance, posture and agility.

Tina Cannon, lead dancer and dance captain in Celine Dion's A New Day in Las Vegas. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Tina Cannon, lead dancer and dance captain in Celine Dion's "A New Day" in Las Vegas. With dozens of dance styles to choose from - ballroom, swing, jazz, tap, modern, salsa, hip-hop - a dancer's life is never boring. Just ask Tina Cannon, lead dancer and dance captain in Celine Dion's "A New Day" in Las Vegas. Tina studied dance on scholarship with the Cleveland San Jose Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, the Boston Ballet, the Rochester City Ballet and Steps on Broadway. She was a Radio City Rockette and toured the U.S. with the Broadway show "Fosse." In this interview, Tina shares the joys and stresses of staying in the best shape of her life as a professional dancer.

As a dancer in "A New Day" with Celine Dion in Las Vegas, what is a day in your life like?

I'm a dancer in the show, but I'm also one of two dance captains, which makes my role pretty unique. That means I know, teach and maintain all of the show's choreography and run rehearsals, and make casting decisions. At about 3 p.m., my day begins at "A New Day," which may entail running a rehearsal or taking a dance class like ballet or modern.

At 5 p.m., I start working with the other captain on the "ins and outs" of the show, going over who is sick or injured. We go over each dance and who's in it. Between 5:30-6:30 p.m., we have a note session for the entire cast, where I do a play-by-play of who's doing what for each dance number. We go through everything on stage, working formations and timing. After that, I eat dinner. Then I prepare for the show.